Membership benefits

Full, graduate and student memberships

Specialist legal advice and representation

  • direct access to one-to-one legal advice and representation from our expert in-house team of quick-response lawyers including advice on draft contracts and contractual disputes, freelance working, intellectual property, performers’ rights and royalties, unpaid fees, employment issues and disputes, safeguarding and child protection, discrimination and anything else which affects your career as a musician
  • a 24-hour legal helpline staffed by qualified legal advisers, available 365 days a year
  • an unpaid fees service that recovers overdue payments owed to you in relation to your work
  • legal expenses insurance (cover up to £100,000) in the event of a legal dispute related to your work as a musician or personal injury at any time
  • online legal advice: advice pages and downloadable template contracts
  • DBS check advice and Disclosure application service for self-employed musicians

'I have found the ISM's legal service personal and unlimited, and they have been particularly useful when it comes to the complex contracts I have had to negotiate.'

Bushra El-Turk, Composer and Artistic Director, Ensemble Zar


  • public, employers' and product liability insurance - £10,000,000 of cover including in the event of public injury or loss/damage to third party property during the course of your career
  • legal expenses cover - £100,000 cover in the event of a legal dispute or HMRC tax investigation related to your work as a musician
  • unlimited discounted insurance on any number of musical instruments and equipment of any value
  • professional indemnity insurance specifically designed for music teachers and consultants, available from £58 a year

'It's great to have the public liability insurance, the legal advice when you need it and if you have any questions about how much to charge they are always there.'

James Mainwaring, Multi-instrumentalist and Composer

Expert advice

  • one-to-one advice from our experienced staff team
  • resources including annual fees surveys, online advice pages, template contracts, record-keeping documents, and advice packs
  • a 24-hour counselling helpline
  • fees surveys, recommended rates and related fees advice

    'Useful advice, legal influence and a listening ear are just some of the benefits the ISM provides'

    Nicola Corbishley, Soprano

    Promotion, enhanced status and free listings

    • free listing on the ISM Music Directory which is used by members of the public looking to hire musicians including music teachers, performers and composers
    • free listing in the ISM Handbook
    • concert and event promotion through our Facebook and Twitter pages
    • the opportunity to apply for ISM Registered Private Teacher status
    • being a member of a nationally recognised professional body enhances your status, demonstrates to those you work for that you are committed to your profession and that you have proven professional credentials. As a member you can use letters after your name and the ISM member logo.

    Award-winning professional development, networking and community

    • access to an active professional community of musicians who you can meet and share ideas with at our seminars and events
    • up to 30% off when you book for our award-winning seminars, conferences and events
    • interactive webinars presented by experts in the fields of performing, composing, teaching, business skills, contracts, music industry, royalties, legal matters and more
    • ISM Local Groups

    'The ISM's professional development initiatives inspired me beyond measure and propelled me to new heights.'

    Sharon Mark-Teggart, Music Educator and Director

    Tax and financial support services

    • a daytime tax helpline staffed by qualified accountants
    • a debt advice helpline
    • access to downloadable template documents, tax and financial advice from our website
    • HMRC tax investigation cover
    • a discounted tax return completion service
    • discounted accountancy and financial services

    Because we are a professional body self-employed members can claim back the tax on their membership fee.

    'ISM membership is important to me because it gives me a safety net should a problem arise, whether it be financial or legal. I've found the services really useful.'

    Pippa Reid-Foster, Harpist, Composer and Teacher

    Influencing the agenda

    • opportunities to join one of our expert Special Interest Groups and have a direct impact on music education policy and policy at the BBC, PRS, PPL and others


    The ISM, together with its members and supporters, is a strong campaigning force for musicians' rights and music education. Our latest campaigns include Bacc for the Future, Instruments on Planes and Protect Music Education.

    The work our dedicated External Affairs team carries out on behalf of musicians includes:

    • lobbying - making the case for the profession
    • campaigning on the critical issues facing musicians today
    • engaging with the music industry at all levels

    'I was particularly impressed with the campaign that the ISM ran to challenge airlines on their policies around which instruments you can take on board."

    Kit Downes, Pianist and Composer

    Exclusive discounts

    • including discounts on instruments, equipment and accessories, instrument insurance, printed music, books, CDs, recording services, website design, music software, concert and gig tickets, health services, insurances, accommodation and other memberships
    • high street savings with ISM Discount+ including discounts with Apple, Hotpoint, T.M. Lewin, Columbus Direct, Kuoni, Sandals, Thomas Cook, Empire, Cineworld and Showcase as well as independent cinemas. Students can also get NUS Extra at a discount and we offer discounts on emergency childcare, car hire, motor, travel and medical insurance, income protection, CV and interview writing and financial advice.


    • bi-Monthly Music Journal, the ISM's official magazine
    • annual members' Handbook
    • annual ISM diary
    • regular e-newsletters containing advice, events, discounts, news and campaigning updates

    'The ISM keeps me up-to-date with changes in the music sector, and connects me with a wider network of professional musicians.'

    Philip Herbert, Composer and Performer

    Other benefits

    • free subscription to Grove Music Online

    'The ISM goes far deeper in terms of the level of support that it affords its members. It is the voice for music, and plugs musicians in to a professional community that will support them throughout their careers.'

    Suzi Digby, Choral Conductor and Music Educator